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Swiss National Day: Celebrating a nation, an identity, a badge of honor

Swiss National Day recognizes Switzerland’s symbolic birth as a nation from three cantons, or provinces, who united in 1291. To truly understand Swiss National Day, you have to know a bit about how Switzerland even came to be.

Happy Swiss National Day!

Like IQAir, Switzerland’s 8.3 million residents declare their pride in being Swiss on this important holiday. Swiss National Day recognizes Switzerland’s symbolic birth as a nation from three cantons, or provinces, who united in 1291.

To truly understand Swiss National Day, you have to know a bit about how Switzerland even came to be. At its core, Swiss National Day is a celebration of Switzerland’s emergence as an independent confederacy, an alliance of otherwise independent states, in 1291, right at the tail end of what we now call the Middle Ages (or medieval times). 

Three Swiss cantons were especially influential in their times: Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden were heavy hitters in medieval Switzerland because of their strategic location along the Gotthard Pass, an important trade route through the Alps connecting southern and northern Europe. The three cantons were given exclusive control over the pass by the Henry VII, king of Germany, in 1231, which helped make these three cantons rich and powerful.

And thus, the Swiss Confederacy was born. Soon after, many cantons would join the confederacy, and as of today, the country now consists of 26 cantons who all participate in festivities celebrating Swiss nationhood every August 1st. And Switzerland revels in the diversity of its 26 cantons even in the highest halls of power: the country has four official languages (German, French, Italian, and Romansch, an indigenous language descended from Latin)

We love sausages and fireworks

Festivities on Swiss National Day aren’t all that different from those you’d see during July 4th in the United States, Bastille Day in France, or other major national holidays. It’s traditional to gather at a friend’s or family member’s house for an all-day cookout on Swiss National Day.

One common fixture at a Swiss National Day barbecue is wurst, or sausage. But not just any sausage – each Swiss canton has its own signature sausage favored above all others. Fun fact: in IQAir’s home canton of St. Gallen, the Olma sausage, made of veal, pork, and milk, reigns supreme. Many Swiss are fiercely proud of their local sausage. You will get the evil eye if, for some outlandish reason, you don’t want the local specialty.

Then, when all the sausage and drinking begins to wind down, the day finishes off with a fireworks show or two, visible from almost anywhere in a village or city.

What does “Swissness” mean to us?

German brothers Klaus and Manfred Hammes founded IQAir in 1963 and moved the company’s operations to Switzerland in 1981. Since then, Swissness has been one of the central tenets of the IQAir business and culture. 

Many of us associate Swissness with quality: Swiss brands produce what are considered the greatest examples of their craft and are sought after throughout the world. Why? Because of the unspoken promise of quality that accompanies a Swiss label.

But Swissness is more than a label. It’s an identity, a nationhood, and a symbol of pride.

IQAir takes great pride in affixing a “Swiss Made” label to every one of its award-winning air purifiers that leave its factory from the shores of Lake Constance in Goldach, Switzerland. Swissness permeates everything we do. It’s not just a sticker or a brand: it’s a bold statement that drives our mission, our processes, and our philosophy. Swissness is a deeply embedded part of IQAir’s identity as well as the identities of millions of Swiss people. 

And on August 1, Swiss National Day gives us another reason to be fiercely proud of it.

About IQAir

Since 1963, the Swiss-based IQAir Group has developed and manufactured innovative air quality products and services for homes, offices, schools, hospitals, and other critical environments. For more information, please visit http://www.iqair.com

Media Contact

Tiffany Allegretti
Public Relations Manager
IQAir North America
Tel: (562) 903-7600 ext.1129
tiffany.allegretti@IQAir.com

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